Gems Ever So Slightly Off the Beaten Path: KayDan’s Ceviche Stall and Neri’s Tacos (Almost)

Yesterday was the last day of conch Season in Belize…it closed 2 months early since the national fishing quota had been met and as an attempt to preserve the quickly dwindling conch population.  It was one of my last chances to have a taste of one of my favorite seafoods (see the bottom of this post for more information).  Lobster is good…but in my book?  Conch is much more flavorful.    If prepared properly (these big mollusks can get a bit chewy), it is delicious.

I had heard about a relatively new stall that was serving ceviche only.  Specialty is a good thing, right?  And it is not that far out of the way at all.  It is on a street that every resident of San Pedro travels on weekly, if not daily.

KayDan’s Ceviche Stall is located next to Giovanni’s Signs and just south of Carts Belize.  You might also know this house as our Area Representative Manuel Heredia’s.  It is on block south of Skybox Sports Bar (the old Chon Saan).  Just ask any town resident where the rep’s house is…we love to give directions.

The ceviche place is on the right and Almond Tree Deli is on the left.  Who knew there were so many places to eat in town that I never even knew about?  Still finding plenty after 6 years…

Here are the different types of ceviche you can order.  I’d never really heard of horse conch… but now read that it is a huge largest form of sea snail…very similar to the queen conch but a slightly different family (I’m going to have to do a bit more research on this…)

I chose conch and it takes about 5 minutes to prepare since each portion is cut and assembled while you wait.  Alba, the owner, got to chopping and I wandered around the block.

Just diagonal to her shop is the famous Neri’s Tacos.  Everyone in town loves them and can you believe that I’ve never tried?  They are open for breakfast and dinner only.  Don’t worry…I’ll try them tomorrow and report back.

Why, oh why is this CHEAP food not served at lunch?

Back across the street to KayDan’s.  My ceviche was ready.

Big chunks of conch…lots of cilantro and the habanero option.  Me thinks that every classic local ceviche plate should have this INSANELY hot pepper in an onion cup.

If you want to know how ridiculously RED HOT the habanero is compared to other peppers, check out:  Cooking In Belize.  The jalapeno cowers at the sight of this heat-meister. If you do not like to sweat, DO NOT TOUCH THESE.  In fact, remove them from your plate immediately, they have been known to leak through the onion.  If you like a bit, add one…maybe two tiny slices to your ceviche but do not allow to soak for more than 5 minutes.  If you are Belizean…you know what to do.

Alba has an inside sitting area and a nice side patio area.

Needless to say…this was very good ceviche.

Alba makes her ceviche fresh when you walk in…she also does catering.  Having a party?  She has been known to make ceviche from 50 at what I think is a way-too-reasonable price.  Want to have a ceviche night at your bar?  Order it from KayDan’s.  Slightly salt, acidic, spicy ceviche definitely makes people drink more.  Ceviche and Belikin is a great combination.

For a dish, it seems deceptively easy to make. And there are so many good ones in town.  Put Alba’s on your short list.

Someone needs to organize a ceviche competition in this town.  Maybe for Lobsterfest?  A tasting table?  As usual, I’m loving my own idea.

But now I am just rambling.

Stop in KayDan’s and try it.  And let me know how the horse conch tastes.

Two quick notes:  I just called the Fisheries Department in Belize City and learned the following:   Horse conch is NOT part of the conch season and can be caught and eaten all year round.   Also, the last day to catch and sell conch was April 24th.  If any restaurants or shops have conch in stock, they are allowed to sell the conch until May 12, 2012.   So you still have a chance to eat it…




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